Lending Cupboard looking to address future demand

Community needs assessment report released

The Lending Cupboard is searching for ways to address the need for a larger facility, a bigger budget, more staff and volunteers to meet growing public demand to borrow medical equipment.

On Tuesday morning, the non-profit released a Community Needs Assessment Report that looks at population and demographic growth trends, emerging health and wellness issues in Central Alberta.

Executive director Dawna Morey said the community and health care providers mistakenly believe the non-profit is funded by government when only 15 per cent of its $335,000 annual budget is covered by Alberta Health Services for people with hip and knee replacements.

Morey said it’s also a misconception that the funding people receive through Aids to Daily Living program goes to The Lending Cupboard. The only benefit is that some people will donate their equipment.

“We’re very appreciative of that. But there’s no money there to maintain that equipment, to have the equipment provided to the client, all of those things,” Morey said on Tuesday.

The non-profit also addresses the needs of clients with orthopedic disorders, arthritis, heart disease, strokes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, diabetes, obesity and cancer which are all on the rise.

In 2015-16, The Lending Cupboard lent out 16,000 pieces of equipment to 4,300 clients, up from 330 pieces to 456 clients in 2006 when the Cupboard opened.

According to the report, seniors are the largest users of the Cupboard, which lends equipment at no cost to Central Albertans, and by 2036 about 20 per cent of Alberta’s population will be over age 65.

As more people experience poverty due to the recession, more will also look to the Cupboard for help instead of buying or renting equipment.

When it comes to its facility, the Cupboard has sometimes had to rely on extra storage space in a sea can located in its parking lot and has an overflow warehouse for storing extra equipment.

Storage is a problem despite about 80 per cent of equipment being on loan at any given time.

“We’re bursting and we need help to be able to expand,” said Morey, the Cupboard’s only full-time employee.

The Cupboard is open five hours, three days a week and as demand increases, so should staffing and volunteers to make the service more readily available, she said.

“When I’m in the office on the days we are closed there are people at the door wanting, needing equipment so it’s something that we truly need to address.”

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Alberta’s biathlon women sweep the podium

Alberta biathletes take four medals, including silver in men’s race, on Sunday

Red Deer songwriter draws on winter, childhood to write Games closing ceremonies song

Kayla Williams is excited to perform ‘Something Right’ March 2 at the Centrium.

House in Calgary destroyed in fire following apparent explosion, officials say

CALGARY — A house was destroyed when a fire broke out following… Continue reading

Historic win for Team Nunavut at Canada Winter Games

Four years in the making boiled down to a collection of firsts… Continue reading

Historic win for Team Nunavut at Canada Winter Games

Four years in the making boiled down to a collection of firsts… Continue reading

Chicago police: Jussie Smollett assault case has ‘shifted’

Chicago police said Saturday the investigation into the assault reported by Jussie… Continue reading

Still-active human rights case speaks to lasting homophobia in Canada: activists

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Just over 14 years ago, the government of… Continue reading

Alberta missionaries among the Canadians heading home from riot-stricken Haiti

MONTREAL — A Canadian couple who had to leave Haiti due to… Continue reading

Man charged in daughter’s death in hospital with self-inflicted gunshot wound: police

Police say a man charged with first-degree murder in the death of… Continue reading

Cabinet expected to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

OTTAWA — Canada’s energy regulator will tell the federal government this week… Continue reading

South African activists try to protect endangered pangolins

JOHANNESBURG — As World Pangolin Day is marked around the globe, Saturday,… Continue reading

Fourteen ‘dream’ homes ordered evacuated as sinkholes open in Sechelt, B.C.

Greg and Gerry Latham spent Friday morning scrambling to pack up family… Continue reading

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual assault: British newspaper

LONDON — A British newspaper says police in London are investigating an… Continue reading

Most Read